This $35 Smartphone Accessory Can Detect HIV, Syphilis With ‘Gold Standard’ Accuracy [Video]

A new iPhone and Android dongle is capable of detecting HIV and syphilis in a human body. Head over the jump to catch all the details on this technology that pushes the boundaries of how we use our smartphones today.

Let’s face it, the chances of an increase in the growth rate of STDs aren’t exactly helped with the spread of the smartphone era of dating services and IM apps, but with no real way of slowing it all down, this $35 dongle will attach itself to your iPhone or Android device, and a 15-minute test will determine if you are HIV positive or not, or if you’ve got syphilis. Developed as a diagnostic tool by a team of biomedical engineers from Columbia University, the tool couples up with your smartphone’s processing power and data collection to analyze a drop of blood from your pricked finger.

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The accuracy is termed as a “gold standard” one, which is as accurate as such results come. This accuracy is achieved via a process called an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). How does it work?

“This test looks for either how much of an antibody is contained within the sample, or how much protein is bound by an antibody; if HIV positive, antibodies to HIV bind to the antigens on the plate.”

This gadget is able to attach itself to a smartphone, power itself, and transmit and receive data through the 3.5mm audio port on modern smartphones, which is pretty incredible, as it moves away from the troubles of a micro-USB port vs. Lightning port scenario. The affordability of such results, given the accuracy, is a remarkable development, and as put by the team:

“Coupling microfluidics with recent advances in consumer electronics can make certain lab-based diagnostics accessible to almost any population with access to smartphones.”

It’s very remarkable how far our smartphones have come in a bunch of categories, especially medicine. With so many little accessories out there for our phones, we can simply negate the need to go to a doctor, when it comes to very small things like checking our blood pressure and whatnot.

Would you prefer such diagnosis by a qualified individual rather than a mere smartphone accessory? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

(via: GigaOm)

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